Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

This is a quick and excellent side dish recommended to me by a wedding friend! You could sub rice instead of orzo (it's cheaper and more readily available), dried basil instead of fresh, etc. and still get great flavor. Not quite the same as fresh and orzo, but still a great side dish!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes

I think this is my favorite "regular" pancake recipe I have ever made. Nothing will ever beat my dad's pancakes, but these were good stuff, super simple, and made with ingredients most people have in the kitchen. I like all the oatmeal, fruit, wheat, etc. pancakes, but I celebrated snow day #4 (are we really still celebrating or ready to go back to school and get this done??) with pancakes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Rollups

Chicken Alfredo Roll-ups

9 lasagna noodles
2  cups alfredo sauce
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 tsp
2 tsp garlic salt
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray and pour in just enough alfredo sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.Cook noodles according to package directions to the al dente stage.
Drain noodles, rinse with cold water, and blot dry with paper towel. Line up the noodles side by side.
Combine all but 1/3 cup afredo sauce, chicken, oregano, garlic salt, and 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella.
Divide filling evenly among noodles. Roll up noodles and place seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce, then remaining cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pan Fried Crappie

Happy Valentine's Day! My valentine and I went out to dinner a couple of nights ago to avoid the rush (thanks for dinner, Mom and Dad!). We discovered a restaurant new to us that we will be returning to many times!
Tonight, we went for a boat ride, which was far colder than we expected, with hopes to catch dinner. Good thing Norris caught fish last night because we had no luck tonight! After the chilly boat ride, we came home and cooked together. We were done in less than twenty minutes and it was one of the best meals we've had in a while. We tried a little different method than usual and we'll be using it again.
Pan Fried Crappie
canola or vegetable oil for frying (about 1/2 inch deep in skillet)
crappie fillets
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed (used Ninja to make a fine crumb)
1 cup flour
2 eggs
Season flour and crackers. Set up breading station with a plate of flour, then eggs, then saltines.
Heat oil to about 375 F.
Dip fillet in flour, then eggs, then crackers, then fry for about 45 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chicken Fried Steak

I know it's the time of year to make a bunch of healthy recipes, but I am pretty much using the same ones of those I've posted before. About once a week, I've been making a more-than-weeknight meal based on Norris' request. This week, the dish was chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and white gravy. Mmmmm, comfort food. I told him as we were eating it (and he was looooving it) that I can't remember ever even making it before. I may have before, and I have only eaten it a couple of times, but it's pretty easy to know what it's supposed to taste like and whether it tastes good!
It really wasn't too labor intensive and I had most of the dishes done before we sat down to eat, which I always like, so it could be a weeknight meal, but it's definitely not a super quick one. Great for a meat and potatoes man (or woman!).
I made my favorite mashed potatoes on the side--boil potatoes along with peeled cloves of garlic, then season (butter, milk, salt, pepper, sour cream, whatever you like) according to taste. Love that cooked garlic flavor in them and it helps you not need as much butter in the end. I'm just linking you to the recipe since the only change I made was to make 1/3 of the recipe and use skim instead of whole milk, which worked just fine!

from Pioneer Woman

"Panda Express" Honey Walnut Shrimp

We have been to Panda Express a few times and the honey walnut shrimp is amaaaazing. I don't have a "normal" order because I've only been there a few times, but I have had a bite or two of this each time and know it's good. Norris requested that I make it at home and we loved this, too. It has a few more dishes than my typical weeknight meal, but they were worth it. I will use this coating technique for shrimp in any sauce again. Norris liked it so much that he suggested I use this recipe for school, and I know the kids would also love it!

"Panda Express" Honey Walnut Shrimp

1lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined, with tails removed)
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
½ cup walnuts
4 egg whites
2/3 cup cornstarch
¼ cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk (skim works)
1 cup oil (for frying)
Bring the water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the walnuts and boil for two minutes, then drain and spread on a baking sheet or plate to dry.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy (a mixer makes quick work out of this). Add cornstarch and stir until thickened.
Combine mayonnaise, honey, 1 tbsp sugar, and milk in a small saucepan and keep warm.
Heat oil in frying pan or deep fryer. Dip shrimp in egg white batter, shake off excess, and fry in hot oil until golden brown, or about four minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss shrimp in warm mayonnaise sauce, then toss with walnuts and serve.

adapted from allsecretrestaurantrecipes

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

This recipe has a little different flavor than your regular chicken breast, but is still very simple and yields great results. We both loved this and it was even great as leftovers! The only thing I changed was adding the brown sugar to the saute pan as the garlic was browning because it made more of a paste to spread over the chicken.
(link to recipe)

Cheddar Herb Drop Biscuits

This recipe is super simple and yields great results. Norris claims them to be better than the Red Lobster biscuits, so you'll have to try them and decide for yourself! Making these was made more fun with my two year old helper friend!

(link to recipe on Tasty Kitchen)